Monday, September 11, 2006

Monica Graham

So here I sit, writing. Or I’m supposed to be, but the sun is shining, the kayaks are stacked on the roof of the car, and I’d rather be paddling—or anywhere but plopped on my butt in front of a computer screen.

…Oops. Was that me who just wrote that?

I shouldn’t have. Honestly. I do what I love to do—write—but there are days when I wish I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Then I’d never have to worry about writing enough to get paid, how much I’m going to get paid, when I’m going to get paid—or even if I’m going to get paid.

“Independently wealthy”—I think that’s what you call it.

Never mind. Of more importance right now is a looming deadline and writer’s block, two colliding clichés. What’s another word for…oh, look—is that a woodpecker outside my window? I’d better go look it up. Where’s the bird book?

Ok, here it is. No, it’s a yellow-bellied sapsucker. What a nice name. Oh, well. Back to the salt mine.

Where was I?

Maybe this is old age, when I can’t remember some words, and I can’t forget others—like yellow-bellied sapsucker.

I think I’m hungry. Or maybe I’m thirsty. I know one thing, I can’t sit in this chair a moment longer.

So now it’s three hours later, not very long when compared to the age of the universe, but an eon closer to deadline.

I’m damp and tired, and my hair is sticky from salt spray, because instead of sitting at my desk, I sat in my kayak at the door of the sunset. I followed the sun’s red road west, and when the waves got a bit too scarily high, I turned around and surfed in the other direction. In the cove’s shelter, the water was a smooth green mirror, and twin upside-down tornadoes trailed along each paddle blade. I never noticed that before.

Enough of that. It sounds a bit too much like I’m a character in a Margaret Atwood story—not that I’ve got anything against Margaret Atwood, but I want to write my own stuff and be just as famous. Ha.

I tried paddling fast enough to leave a wake.

Then I tried drifting to see where the wind and waves and tide would take me, which was precisely nowhere. I started a kayak’s length from a harbour buoy, and fifteen minutes later I was still there. As inspiration or as metaphor, it just didn’t work.

I considered watching the sun sink all the way below the horizon, but realized that would leave me loading the kayak on the roof rack in the dark, which is an exasperating exercise.

How practical I’m getting. Maybe I’m just too practical today to be inspired.

So as the sky changed to that odd maritime shade of pink-blue-gold, I paddled back to reality. It was dark when I got home, so I left the boat on the roof.

I might need it again tomorrow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monica's honesty is refreshing in a news world full of bad stories, she inspires me to get the heck outdoors and enjoy what really matters, family and nature.

8:36 PM  

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